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Flood And Drain aka Ebb And Flow Pod System™

Flood And Drain aka Ebb And Flow Pod System™

This is a very simple but very effective technique. It is basically a hybridisation of all the above techniques put together. The principle, as per the description of the title, is simple, however, very effective. These systems normally use clay pebbles as the substrate, as this medium provides very good drainage and good retention of water, which over a period of time will dry out. A flood and drain system typically works by using a timer and submersible pump. The timer controls the flood via the submersible pump. The timer controls the flood and drain cycle of the system. Most flood and drain systems work via a bottom flood, which over a period of preset time floods two thirds to three quarters of the growing medium. Then, once the flood cycle reaches the desired height, the pump stops and gravity then pulls the water back to the reservoir. Then, depending on the size and depth of the system, some time later the cycle is repeated.

Conventional flood and drain systems are normally quite shallow i.e. approximately 5-10cm deep. However, due to recent developments, we now have on the market deep flood and drain systems. The pod system ™ is approximately 50cm deep. Original shallow flood and drain systems obviously take less time to flood however, need to be flooded more often over a 24-hour period. The reason is that the medium takes shorter and longer periods of time to dry before another flood is initiated, i.e. the shallow flood and drain medium will dry out quicker resulting in more floods per 24 hour period.

The great benefit in a deep flood and drain system over its shallow counterparts is that the greater the volume of water used to flood and drain a system, the greater push and pull of air over the root zone will be, i.e. the water acts like a piston in a cylinder of an engine. Each time the system floods, the old air in and around the roots is pushed out from the medium then when the flood completes and the drain cycle occurs, the water then sucks down as it returns to the reservoir, pulling fresh air in to the rootball maximising aeration around the roots. And because it needs a longer period of time to dry out before another flood is initiated, this drying out process also creates very good aeration to the roots. Then the whole process is repeated. Aeration to the rootball is possibly the biggest factor for healthy, happy, heavy yielding plants and this system gives you it by the bucket load.

Again, another big advantage of the deep flood and drain system over its shallow counterparts is that because the system uses a greater volume of water to operate it, it also needs a greater size reservoir to maintain it. Now, the bigger the reservoir, the more buffered and stable the pH and CF of the system will be, resulting in less maintenance. Also, the greater the size of the reservoir, the less times you have to visit it to top it up again resulting in less maintenance and more freedom.

Before any more praise is said about these systems,


please read what horticultural press said upon their release:

These systems incorporate brand new evolutions in hydro farming innovation. Simply put, these are deep pod ebb and flood. Each pod has a large 12-15 litres of root space allowing for a longer dry period between floods optimising air to the root zone. Due to the depth of the pod (9-10 inches) and quality of the pump, the system takes 3-4 mins to flood and 3-4 mins to drain, resulting in a rapid flood and rapid drain. The water, due to its large volume coupled with its tall cylindrical pods, acts as a big piston pushing all the old air out then sucking new air in with approximately three times the pull compared to existing shallow depth flood and drains that are generally available, thereby getting considerably more air to the rootzone. The system incorporates a couple of safety features, one being a shallow reservoir built into each pod so if a power cut strikes or the pump fails, your plants won’t die. The Hydro Pod also has an overflow safety feature so if your pump gets stuck in the "on" position, then the whole system acts as a very deep trough NFT; no water spillage all over the floor to mop up. With the depth of grow pods the system incorporates excellent support for your bigger plants. Again due to the size of root space you can grow up to 3 plants in each pod. The Hydro Pod system can come built to measure, the systems can be built into any shape of room optimising the space available; the smallest being a two pod, a four pod, then an eight pod, then sixteen pod system, to whatever size or shape you wish. Each pod can be removed separately without disturbing the existing pods within the system, allowing you to start and finish plants at separate times or enabling the removal of diseased or unwanted plants without disturbing the other plants in the system. You can even turn the pods individually creating more even growth. We believe no such system has had as much thought and time put into its evolution which is still ongoing. Plans to develop an ebb and flow aero pod along the same principles are in the pipeline. If you’re into HID light cultivation, the sixteen pod system can fit snugly into one and a half metres squared; that’s 16-48 plants under one 600w or 1000w light.

“New Products: Hydro Pod Ebb And Floods” from FutureGrow Magazine

Flood and drain systems are easy to install and are very user-friendly. The secret to their success is their simplicity. Ideal for the beginner or the professional. Provides an excellent foundation for expansion. The only drawback and yes there is one, is that as with any hydroponics technique that employs clay pebbles as its medium, the clay pebbles do need to be washed thoroughly before use and between crops. Apart from that, this technique is a real winner.

HydroPod™ System. Designed, invented and manufactured by Esoteric Hydroponics Limited.

Esoteric Hydroponics for High Quality Hydroponics Grow Equipment